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FrequencyCast UK Tech Podcast

Loc8tor - Lost Item Tracker Reviewed

This page features information on the Loc8tor product, plus a review. The Loc8tor is a small handheld unit that can be used to locate items that have a special Loc8tor tag attached to them - great for tracking down lost keys, remote controls, gadgets, pets, wallet, children, mobiles, etc.

Loc8tor handsetWhat is Loc8tor?

Buy yourself a Loc8tor kit (for around £60) - with the kit, you get some little tags that you can stick to items you're prone to losing. You also get a handset that's can be used to track down one of the tags. The Loc8tor can handle 24 different tags and lets you find items by direction-finding.

Tags also have a buzzer for ease-of-location, and you can track down tags using clever direction-finding technology.

  • What you get: A handheld tracking unit, and some tags
  • Range: Find a tag up to 600 feet (180 metres) away
  • Modes: Locate, Alert (when an item wanders out of range) and a Panic button


Know of another supplier? Let us know


Loc8tor Review

We're pleased to say that the Locator does indeed do what it says on the tin. Here, we're reviewing the Loc8tor Plus, which is supplied with four tags, one of which is an alert tag. Out of the box, setting up is very easy - slot the two AAA batteries into the handheld unit, and switch it on.

What's in the box

Before you can track one of the small Tags, you have to let the base unit recognise it (with the yellow button), and give the tag a name e.g. "Carl Keys". The tag is then ready to be attached to whatever you want to keep an eye one. To attach a tag, you can either stick the tag on with one of the supplied adhesive pads, or attach to a keyring with the supplied loop. You're then all set.

Locator screenLocating a tag is pretty easy too - To find a tag, you press the grey button - you then get a list of all of your tags (up to 24 are supported). Pick the item you want to find from the list, and select it. A couple of things happen... assuming the tag is actually in range (600 feet if no obstructions), the tag starts to emit an intermittent beep and flashes it's little light - if the tag's in earshot, you can find it without using the handset display.

At this point, the handheld unit starts its search, and on the display shows how far away the tag is - near, medium, far. You then spin round in a slow circle, watching the display - the graphic changes to reflect a stronger signal when you're facing in the right direction. You then play a little "getting warmer, "getting colder" until you know you're in the right direction, then start moving towards the object. To help you out, there 's an onscreen number to represent signal strength. As you're searching, the handset will be beeping - and the beeps get closer together the closer you get to the tag - turning into a constant tone when you're right on top of the tag.

We've just recorded a search in progress, which we'll be including in an upcoming podcast, if you want to hear how a search sounds.

The Loc8tor Plus (but not the standard Loc8tor) has an Alert mode - this lets you set a tag into a different mode - if the tag strays outside of a safety range (near, medium or far), the handset starts beeping and vibrating , with an onscreen message letting you know which tag's escaped. It's worth noting that in 'Alert' mode, the tag and handset are in constant contact, which has a hit on battery life.

One final type of mode is also supported by the Plus version - 'Panic'. This is a red tag with a little button. When this button is pressed, it sets off an alarm on the handset - this could be used by someone close to alert you that they need your help. Another potentially handy feature.

A Loc8to Tag
The Loc8tor tag in hand - with some props to show scale

All in all, the Loc8tor Plus is a pretty smart solution, and there doesn't seem to be anything else like it on the market. The only real shame is that the tags couldn't have been made a little smaller. Considering the tags have a radio receiver, light, buzzer and battery on board, it's impressive that they're as small as they are (30.5 x 19.5 x 8.5mm), but we'd like to see an optional tag released that sacrifices the buzzer, LED and some battery life, in return for an ever smaller little tag. Wishful thinking perhaps...

Summary? Yup - we love the Loc8tor. No more lost keys, we know where the cat is, it's great for hide-and-seek, and it's got a surprising range of uses. Track one down today!

Listen to the FrequencyCast UK online radio show
FrequencyCast Podcast IconPODCAST FEATURE: We featured Loc8tor in Show 09 of our online tech radio show.
Listen to the show online, or download it to your MP3 player.

Listen to Show 09 | What is FrequencyCast? | Add us to iTunes


The Frequencycast Cat
Our tagged cat, not happy that big brother is now watching

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